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TITLE
The Master and the Servant
EXTERNAL ID
HC_GAELICSTORYTAPE_011
DATE OF RECORDING
1997
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
The Highland Council
ASSET ID
2344
KEYWORDS
oral tradition
folklore
stories
Gaelic
story telling
audio

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This story is recorded in Gaelic and the following is an English translation.

The Master and the Servant.

There was a time long ago when there was a great scarcity throughout the land. A lot of people were going about with nothing to do for there was no work for them. There were also people who were taking advantage of how scarce the work was and although they needed workers they were not willing to give them proper wages. Among them was a farmer who would not accept any servant except one who was willing to stay with him for seven years and who would want in pay only as much grain as he would catch in his mouth while he was threshing the corn in the barn.

Nobody was willing to take employment with him; but at last he said that he would give permission for that grain to be sown in the best land that he had, and that he would give his own horses and plough for doing the ploughing.

A young lad came along who was willing to take the job on these conditions. His wage would be the amount of grain that he would catch in his mouth while threshing the corn in the barn. He was to have permission to sow that seed in the best land that the farmer had, to keep what would grow from that seed and what he would catch in his mouth while threshing in the barn; and to sow all the seed the following year in the best land that the farmer had.

The arrangement was to proceed like this from year to year, throughout the seven years. Thus he was to have seven winters in the barn threshing and catching, seven springs sowing, seven summers for growing, and seven autumns for reaping. What would be produced from that he would have for himself at the end of the period.

The lad took the job and when he was threshing in the barn his master would always be threshing along with him. That winter he caught only three grains of seed - but he kept them carefully until the spring came, and he sowed them in the best land that the old man had.

The three grains grew and they produced three ears and on each of these were fifty good grains of seed. The lad kept those carefully and added to them every little seed that he caught in his mouth while threshing in the barn.

Next spring he sowed all of them. When autumn came the return was just as good as it was the previous year. The lad continued that work from year to year. In the last year he had enough seed to sow every inch of land that the old man had, with some left over. The old man had to pay rent to the farmer nearest to him in order to get land in which the servant would sow the seed which he had left over. The old man was almost ruined good and proper and he resolved that he would never again make a bargain of that kind to a servant, and he did not do so.

This story is from a collection of stories available on tape, with an accompanying book, under the title 'Am Bloigh Beag le Beannachd'

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The Master and the Servant

1990s

oral tradition; folklore; stories; Gaelic; story telling; audio

The Highland Council

Am Bloigh Beag le Beannachd (Cassette)

This story is recorded in Gaelic and the following is an English translation.<br /> <br /> The Master and the Servant.<br /> <br /> There was a time long ago when there was a great scarcity throughout the land. A lot of people were going about with nothing to do for there was no work for them. There were also people who were taking advantage of how scarce the work was and although they needed workers they were not willing to give them proper wages. Among them was a farmer who would not accept any servant except one who was willing to stay with him for seven years and who would want in pay only as much grain as he would catch in his mouth while he was threshing the corn in the barn.<br /> <br /> Nobody was willing to take employment with him; but at last he said that he would give permission for that grain to be sown in the best land that he had, and that he would give his own horses and plough for doing the ploughing.<br /> <br /> A young lad came along who was willing to take the job on these conditions. His wage would be the amount of grain that he would catch in his mouth while threshing the corn in the barn. He was to have permission to sow that seed in the best land that the farmer had, to keep what would grow from that seed and what he would catch in his mouth while threshing in the barn; and to sow all the seed the following year in the best land that the farmer had.<br /> <br /> The arrangement was to proceed like this from year to year, throughout the seven years. Thus he was to have seven winters in the barn threshing and catching, seven springs sowing, seven summers for growing, and seven autumns for reaping. What would be produced from that he would have for himself at the end of the period.<br /> <br /> The lad took the job and when he was threshing in the barn his master would always be threshing along with him. That winter he caught only three grains of seed - but he kept them carefully until the spring came, and he sowed them in the best land that the old man had.<br /> <br /> The three grains grew and they produced three ears and on each of these were fifty good grains of seed. The lad kept those carefully and added to them every little seed that he caught in his mouth while threshing in the barn.<br /> <br /> Next spring he sowed all of them. When autumn came the return was just as good as it was the previous year. The lad continued that work from year to year. In the last year he had enough seed to sow every inch of land that the old man had, with some left over. The old man had to pay rent to the farmer nearest to him in order to get land in which the servant would sow the seed which he had left over. The old man was almost ruined good and proper and he resolved that he would never again make a bargain of that kind to a servant, and he did not do so.<br /> <br /> This story is from a collection of stories available on tape, with an accompanying book, under the title 'Am Bloigh Beag le Beannachd'